Chipotle Sustainable Farming: Storytelling Fail?

Chipotle recently won a Grand Prix for a short animated film that tells a “moving story” about sustainable farming.

Does it work?  I didn’t think so.

Watch this clip.


I must admit, I haven’t researched the company’s performance (as per the comment from GreyNet below), but to me, successful storytelling lies not only in the performance of a business, but also in the credibility of the brand telling the story, the authenticity of the story itself, and most importantly, the motives behind it.

Moreover, I’m not entirely sure the performance of Chipotle is directly related to the storytelling strategy adopted by the brand.

I felt the story is contrived.

Chipotle is a fast food business as is McDonald’s -its antithesis- and ironically, one of it’s biggest shareholders until 2006, and the reason behind its explosive growth.

The business (and it is a business), carved a niche in the market by capitalising on consumers’ guilt and unwarranted fear of industrialised farming and supposed mistreatment of animals.  It did this regardless of the negative consequences this may have on the industry as a whole and the millions of workers who rely on it for a living.

It may very well be that the shareholders are well-intentioned, nonetheless I feel the story is unbelievable. It also solicited undesired reactions from the audience it’s meant to target.

Read the comments under the YouTube Video.  A sample…

chipotel comment

Update (22 June 2013)

Chipotle is in the news again.

A year after the launch of their storytelling campaign, they are now confirming that some of the ingredients in their food (G) is genetically modified.

Now over to you

Do you buy the Chipotle brand story? Share your thoughts below…


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